Much like the rest of her pop brethren, Taylor Swift saw the way that 2016 was panning out and opted not to release any new music. And her absence was truly felt as 2016 was a truly weak year for pop music (outside of Anti and Lemonade, please don’t come for me).
But just because Taylor Swift didn’t drop anything new in 2016, it doesn’t mean she truly went away. A global star of her caliber never truly drops out of the news cycle and Swift was more than happy to feed it, racking up accomplishments and stoking the rumor mill fires in equal measure. So, in honor of the 1989 singer’s 27th birthday, we’ve decided to take a look back on all the celebrations, haters doing their thing and Starbucks lovers that made Swift’s year.
Taylor Won Like So Many Awards, You Guys
A good part of Taylor not releasing an album this year is that no shine gets stolen from her 2014 album 1989. Because of the way awards shows work, Swift spent the year racking up awards from the BMI, Country Music Association, iHeartRadio and, of course, The Grammys.
After all, it was after 1989 won the top prize in music that she gave that speech. The one that led to Snapchat revelations and “slithering snake Becky with the good lies.” And the one that proved that Swift’s reputation is strong enough to withstand just about anything, especially when you consider that she kinda had a point.
She absolutely flexed her starpower
Drake and Future are two of the biggest stars in the world. And all it took was one goofy Apple Music commercial to prove that Swift was bigger than the both of them. Her “Jumpman” ad gave a huge boost to two artists whose profiles were previously thought to be as big as it gets.
Taylor Swift Covered Vogue…Twice
Covering Vogue once is kind of a big deal. Doing it twice in the same year is just nuts. Swift landed the fashion mag’s most important slot once for a cover story and again for being one of the best-dressed celebs at the Met Gala.
She Hit The Upgrade Button
After he allegedly failed to properly credit her on “This Is What You Came For”, Swift left EDM producer Calvin Harris in the dust. While he was busy being petty, she was being anything but low-key (wamp wamp) with fandom-beloved actor Tom Hiddleston.
Taylor flashed her cash for charity
Swift’s great year wasn’t limited to awards and A-list dating rumors. She also went out of her way to visit fans in need or donate to charity when she could. She donated $1 million to Louisiana flood relief and $5,000 to a fan whose family suffered a fatal car accident.
She went as authentic Deadpool for Halloween and shut up the worst type of nerds forever
Any time any women decides to dress as anything remotely nerdy, a legion of unwashed neckbeards appears to question her bona fides. Well, it doesn’t come much realer than a Deadpool costume direct from the the set of the movie courtesy of Ryan Reynolds. Run back to your subreddits, because Tay Tay ain’t having it.
She got her own TV station
Few artists have the kind of pull to make an all-them, all the time channel work. But a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of one of the best pop stars running is a sure bet, and DirecTV knew that when they gave her her own on-demand channel, which launched today.
She continued to be one of the best performers alive
Taylor Swift only performed one show in 2016, and it was a massive reminder of why she’s so successful. Some people are made to be in the center of an arena and, with Taylor, no amount of twee Instagram shots can fully obscure that.
She made some really good music on the side
Beyond all the glitz and spectacle and social media, Swift made her bones as a songwriter first. So, the few times where in 2016 where she’s been involved in new musical projects have been characteristically excellent. Exhibit A: the O.G. Swift slow-burn that she wrote for Little Big Town called “Better Man.” Seriously, smash play on that up top.
Exhibit B is this Fifty Shades Darker duet with Zayn Malik, that contains a hook that almost certainly came from her. Exhibit C is her upcoming mixtape with Jay Electronica. Just kidding, of course, but given her track record it would probably be amazing. Happy birthday Taylor!